Secondary school review

Image of pupils in classroom

Powys County Council has recently commenced its Secondary School Reorganisation Programme.  The aim of the Programme is a radical overhaul of secondary education in Powys to ensure that all learners are given the chance to achieve their potential.

The county’s existing secondary school structure although well regarded is struggling to deliver the full National Curriculum range within available resources and is failing to meet the challenges demanded of 21st century education.

The Programme includes the following four priorities:

Priority 1: Beacons Learning Campus.  

Formal consultation was carried out in 2016 on a Proposal to

a)  To close Brecon High School and Gwernyfed High School on the 31st August 2017, and to establish a new English-medium 11 – 16 secondary school that will operate across the current sites of the two schools from 1st September 2017 (“the New School”);

b) From the 1st September 2017, Post-16 provision (academic and vocational) to be delivered by NPTC Group of Colleges in Brecon;

c)  From the 1st September 2017, Welsh-medium secondary education to be delivered at the Builth Wells site of the proposed new school in Mid Powys (provided that the Proposal is approved by Cabinet following consultation); and

d) To close the school sites at Gwernyfed and Brecon upon the opening of a new school in Brecon, in 2019/20 (“the New School Building”).

However, on the 27th September 2016, Cabinet decided to abandon the Proposal and proceed with a revised scheme.   An Outline Business Case has been submitted to Welsh Government for capital funding to build a new 11- 18 school campus in Brecon, and to improve the Gwernyfed campus.  This will provide much-needed investment to replace the very poor buildings at Brecon High School, and to upgrade some of the facilities at Gwernyfed.  

The Outline Business Case is attached here.

Priority 2: Mid Powys

Review of Secondary Education in South and Mid Powys has been undertaken, and formal consultation on a proposal to establish a new dual-sited dual-stream school that would operate from the sites of the current Builth Wells and Llandrindod High Schools.

Cabinet agreed to publish a statutory notice at its meeting on the 27th September 2016.

Priority 3: Sixth Form Provision at Ysgol Maesydderwen

Priority 3 looks at sixth form provision in the Ysgol Maesydderwen area. A report was considered by the Council’s Cabinet in September 2015.

Priority 4: Secondary Education in North Powys, with a focus on Welsh-medium provision

On the 29th September 2015, Cabinet received an initial feasibility study to determine the extent to which there is a need for Category 2A Bilingual school or schools in North Powys. At the meeting, Cabinet determined that:

  • It is desirable to establish a bi-lingual, category 2A school or schools in North Powys
  • That a Business Case would be produced accordingly

Work is progressing on the Business Case and it is expected that this will be considered by Cabinet in September 2016.

Download Review of secondary schools in Mid and South Powys - Business Case February 2016